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Disciplinary action after failure to renew Council registration

A  consultant at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire failed to renew their Medical Council registration “for a period of some weeks”, resulting in “disciplinary action” by human resources (HR), according to minutes of the hospital’s board meeting in November.

“This was due to an administration error on the part of the consultant,” stated the minutes obtained under Freedom of Information legislation. “The board was advised that this matter has now been rectified and registration is in place. Disciplinary action is being taken by HR,” according to the minutes.

“The Chairman advised the board that the matter was brought to his attention when it occurred, and he was assured by the Clinical Director that there were no clinical concerns in relation to the consultant. A discussion took place and it was clarified that the registration was backdated by the Medical Council.”

An NRH spokesperson told the Medical Independent it cannot comment on individual cases due to data protection law.

“I can confirm that due to an individual oversight, the matter occurred and once identified, was immediately addressed with the Medical Council by the consultant concerned. The matter was resolved on the same day, with the registration renewal being confirmed.”

The hospital routinely checks that serving doctors are registered and such an incident had not occurred previously, according to the spokesperson. “The NRH informed the State Claims Agency, Department of Health and Medical Council as soon as the error became known and they have been advised that the matter has now been resolved and the registration renewal is in place.”

All registered doctors are required to renew their registration annually, according to the Council. Doctors who fail to complete the registration process and pay their fee can be removed by a decision of Council (section 79 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007).

Doctors are advised in writing of their removal and cannot practice medicine until they have restored their name to the register. There is also a provision in the Act (section 55) that “the Council shall from time-to-time as occasion requires correct all clerical errors in the register”.

At the conclusion of retention in 2018, the Council removed 990 doctors for failure to pay their fee.

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